F/A-18E SuperHornet by Digital Integration - 1998 F/A-18E SuperHornet by Digital Integration - 1998
Exhibit - F/A-18E Super Hornet

Climbing at 20 degrees

Righto, out of the weeds, plug in full burner and uuuuup she goes! Whooopeee!

I'm passing 36,000 feet and I suddenly remember two things

  1. I didn't put much fuel in
  2. I'm totally lost!



This is accompanied by a clammy, queasy feeling in my gut.

Level off and throttle back.

Hmmm.

5 minutes of head down work in the cockpit convinces me that I know very little about the map display. However, based on a semi-educated guess I decide to steer for what I hope is a TACAN symbol on the map. I hadn't pushed too many buttons and so hoped that it was tuned to the beacon at the airport I took off from.

About this time, just as I'm getting very nervous and looking for the ejection handle, the voice warning system goes off "BINGO, BINGO". Ok Ok, I get the message, and a press of the Master Caution Lamp shuts the computer up. Yikes, that's 3,500 lbs of fuel left. There is an adjustable bingo setting on the fuel flow indicator panel.

The virtual cockpit

I let down to about 3,000 feet and peer out of the virtual cockpit... there it is!

Landing was faaaairly uneventful, although according to the merciless debrief I had touched down way too hard.

Debrief map

As you can see by the debrief map, I had ponced around the planned route a bit then headed North West and followed a road up the valley before climbing to the South East. Now that's a lesson in itself. If I had bothered to notice the general compass headings of my escapades, it would have been very simple to head back east and find the airbase visually. Back to F/A-18 SuperHornet